Improving Palliative Care with Deep Learning Machine Learning

Improving the quality of end-of-life care for hospitalized patients is a priority for healthcare organizations. Studies have shown that physicians tend to over-estimate prognoses, which in combination with treatment inertia results in a mismatch between patients wishes and actual care at the end of life. We describe a method to address this problem using Deep Learning and Electronic Health Record (EHR) data, which is currently being piloted, with Institutional Review Board approval, at an academic medical center. The EHR data of admitted patients are automatically evaluated by an algorithm, which brings patients who are likely to benefit from palliative care services to the attention of the Palliative Care team. The algorithm is a Deep Neural Network trained on the EHR data from previous years, to predict all-cause 3-12 month mortality of patients as a proxy for patients that could benefit from palliative care. Our predictions enable the Palliative Care team to take a proactive approach in reaching out to such patients, rather than relying on referrals from treating physicians, or conduct time consuming chart reviews of all patients. We also present a novel interpretation technique which we use to provide explanations of the model's predictions.

Is Medicine Mesmerized by Machine Learning? Statistical Thinking


BD Horne et al wrote an important paper Exceptional mortality prediction by risk scores from common laboratory tests that apparently garnered little attention, perhaps because it used older technology: standard clinical lab tests and logistic regression. Yet even putting themselves at a significant predictive disadvantage by binning all the continuous lab values into fifths, the authors were able to achieve a validated c-index (AUROC) of 0.87 in predicting death within 30d in a mixed inpatient, outpatient, and emergency department patient population. Their model also predicted 1y and 5y mortality very well, and performed well in a completely independent NHANES cohort1. It also performed very well when evaluated just in outpatients, a group with very low mortality.

Death vs. Data Science: Predicting End of Life

AAAI Conferences

Death is an inevitable part of life and while it cannot be delayed indefinitely it is possible to predict with some certainty when the health of a person is going to deteriorate. In this paper, we predict risk of mortality for patients from two large hospital systems in the Pacific Northwest. Using medical claims and electronic medical records (EMR) data we greatly improve prediction for risk of mortality and explore machine learning models with explanations for end of life predictions. The insights that are derived from the predictions can then be used to improve the quality of patient care towards the end of life.

Building Computational Models to Predict One-Year Mortality in ICU Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction and Post Myocardial Infarction Syndrome Machine Learning

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Compared with risk assessment guidelines that require manual calculation of scores, machine learning-based prediction for disease outcomes such as mortality can be utilized to save time and improve prediction accuracy. This study built and evaluated various machine learning models to predict one-year mortality in patients diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction or post myocardial infarction syndrome in the MIMIC-III database. The results of the best performing shallow prediction models were compared to a deep feedforward neural network (Deep FNN) with back propagation. We included a cohort of 5436 admissions. Six datasets were developed and compared. The models applying Logistic Model Trees (LMT) and Simple Logistic algorithms to the combined dataset resulted in the highest prediction accuracy at 85.12% and the highest AUC at .901. In addition, other factors were observed to have an impact on outcomes as well.

Short-term Mortality Prediction for Elderly Patients Using Medicare Claims Data Machine Learning

Risk prediction is central to both clinical medicine and public health. While many machine learning models have been developed to predict mortality, they are rarely applied in the clinical literature, where classification tasks typically rely on logistic regression. One reason for this is that existing machine learning models often seek to optimize predictions by incorporating features that are not present in the databases readily available to providers and policy makers, limiting generalizability and implementation. Here we tested a number of machine learning classifiers for prediction of six-month mortality in a population of elderly Medicare beneficiaries, using an administrative claims database of the kind available to the majority of health care payers and providers. We show that machine learning classifiers substantially outperform current widely-used methods of risk prediction but only when used with an improved feature set incorporating insights from clinical medicine, developed for this study. Our work has applications to supporting patient and provider decision making at the end of life, as well as population health-oriented efforts to identify patients at high risk of poor outcomes.